Tuesday, 7 March 2023

It's Coming

Yes, it's bloody cold and grey and miserable but spring is sort of here.

The fish know it. At dusk the river is full of topping roach.

Tonight it was freezing but there was activity everywhere. I had a couple of roach and missed loads of bites from a couple of different swims.

I was feeding sweetcorn and the roach were on that too, though they prefered bread.

I went to reel in to re cast, only to find something that was definitely not a roach attached to the line.

It was a pig of a chub, in pristine condition and a very welcome addition to the roach.

After that, the wet net froze rigid, the rings iced up and my fingers stopped working, so I packed up and went home. Looking forward to the next session already.

Wednesday, 1 March 2023


Much as I love the chubbing, I was keen to find out if I could get a winter bream from the "forbidden" stretch and if you know bream the way of doing that is give them a bit of bait.

Of course, the pre baiting coincided with much colder weather, but if you don't try you won't know. I'm sure that most fish still feed in very cold temperatures, but only at certain times and for shorter periods.

Those times are often around dusk and that suits me.

I picked two swims. First one a very deep run with cover on the far side and reeds on the near bank and the second a wide, featureless, shallower bit. Why ? Because bream like wide bits in small rivers. I know that sounds daft but it's often the case.

I've now baited and fished them four times with mixed seed and sweetcorn.

First swim, not a bite. There are roach topping which are probably on the bait though.

Second swim. After the first baiting I arrived just before dark for an ultra short session. First cast the tip went round and a lovely winter bream around 4lb was the result.

I also had some roach. A great start.

Next two sessions just roach and yesterday I decided to fish in to dark for an hour. It started slowly and after twenty minutes ( I'm an impatient sod ) I started thinking about a move. 

Then a had a tiny bite, the tip barely moving, just like a bit of debris had slowly hit line. I left it and when I wound in the worms had been shredded, so had obviously been in the fish's throat.

Next cast, again a very slow small movement on the tip which I hit and yes, "the rod hooped over". Decent fish too and in lovely condition.

6lb 13oz but looked bigger. Not huge by national standards but the best I've had off this river for a very long time. Well chuffed.

I had a couple more of those bites. I don't think they are shy, I think with it being cold they are barely moving when feeding.

I just hope we get some milder weather before the season ends because I think there's a chance of a fish or two if it does. 

Also, it's very clear with no flow at the moment. If we get flow, colour and warmth we could gave some top fishing.

As always, time will tell.

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

On The Border

The Waveney to be precise.

Bully said he'd pick me up "between nine and ten". At 07.30 I had a text saying he was on his way, the hungry fecker, so I was rushing about getting my gear ready whilst trying to eat toast and drink tea.

Bully, being a pensioner, spent the previous day polishing his split shot and counting his maggots, so got up early ( they always do, weak bladders on oldies ) and couldn't wait to get going.

An hour later we arrived, I set up on the corner, got some feed out and started fishing. 

It's how I roll boiiiii

Bully sent an application for planning consent for his fishing platform or whatever they call them and got the control room set up very professionally.

We both started getting bites, Bully had roach and ruffe, I had rudd and perch. After a while I had a few bream to 2lb and ever increasing quantities of rudd. Not big fish, but plump specimens in fine condition ranging from 6-10oz.

The action continued on and off all afternoon before going totally dead at dusk.

Nothing big but plenty of bites, banter and interest.

We packed up, me taking five minutes and Bully about twenty. Got back to the car and I said I was popping down the road to Lidl, " I'll be back in ten minutes "

Well, it was more like fifteen, but Bully was still packing the car, trying to get out of his Mothercare chest waders and checking and double checking everything. He's very meticulous. And slow.

Poor old boy, he doesn't deserve the abuse. He takes the ribbing with a smile and is a fine fellow and great company. 

Another great day out.

Saturday, 18 February 2023


On the Broads for the day with Dicky Boy and his mate, local boy Phil.

Out early on the boat in the blustery wind, no bites in an hour or so and getting hungry, so moored up and walked...ooh...ten yards to the cafe for a magnificent Full English. 

Back out and we found a bit of shelter. First cast the float slid away and judging from the bend in the rod I'd got a pike, not the hoped for perch. Nice fish of around 10lb, so very welcome.

Phil was explaining to us what the echo sounder was showing and it really is anazing how much information you can get from a state of the art fishfinder.

The main river had pockets of fish but the boat yards were absolutely stuffed with them. Quick go on the pole and it was a fish a chuck, mostly roach and perch.

We had plenty of takes on lures and a light jigging rod, but these were mostly small fish up to a pound or so. Great fun though.

We kept searching to try and find some bigger ones and after the umpteenth move we found them and in fifteen minutes we'd had five perch over 2lb to 2lb 12oz.

As fast as the action was it was very brief and we moved out on to the main river for the final hour or two. I had another pike around 8lb, as did Dicky.

We had plenty of smallish perch as they hammered the roach shoals in front of the dykes and Dicky managed another decent fish over 2lb before it was time to pack up.

We finished off with a great curry and a beer, days out don't get much better than that. Wunderbar.

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Perfect Day

My version of Lou's ideal day. I didn't feed animals in the zoo.

Earnt a good bit of caaaaaaash during the middle of the day, back by 15.00, two cups of tea and half a packet of digestives. So far so good.

Five mins in the car down to the river. Tried a new bit downstream of the weir and on the way saw a barn owl quartering the meadow and then watched a kingfisher fly backwards and forwards past me for several minutes. Lovely.

Previously not had a chub from here, but after missing the first bite I made no mistake the following cast. Not a big one, but very welcome.

Sunny, mild with no a breath of wind, bloody boooooodaful.

Another chub on dusk, then back for a curry and to top it all Liverpool beat Everton.


Saturday, 11 February 2023

Loafing On Hold

Even The Loafer has to work occasionally.

I've been limited to a couple of very quick dusk sessions, both of which produced a few chub.

Gaining lots of light now, birds are singing and General Winter is on the way out. Good riddance.

On one of the fishing FB pages there was discussion on low temperatures and how the fish ( chub, dace and roach ) are affected.

I was told with certainty that cold temps "definitely slow them down". Technically this may be true but when it comes to catching chub and dace I've never felt it's a problem.

They may feed later in the day, typically around dusk or dark, but they will feed no matter how cold it gets. 

More fishing next week, can't wait.

Thursday, 2 February 2023

Undercover of the Night

Bucket of mash in hand, walking along the now forbidden banks, baiting swims ready for a short dusk into dark session.

Seven swims fished, all blanks apart from one, a fantastic snag ridden deepish area where I had four bites and two decent chuuuurb.

That'll do.

Monday, 30 January 2023

Breaking News - Spring On The Way

In the groove now and grabbing afternoon-evening sessions every day or two.

Two in the first two casts the other day.

Of course the next two hours only produced one fish. Funny old game eh ?

Took Bazza chubbing yesterday to break his duck, he had three chances and missed them all, but he'll be back I'm sure. 

I wandered downstream after some roach and ended up with a nice chub. When did I start to look like a fecking gnome ?

Couple of gumbys 

Magnificent sunset too, how lucky we are.

The amount of geese and wildfowl along this part of the river is staggering and the noise at dawn and dusk when they're on the move is amazing.

Back very soon, I want some roach.

Thursday, 26 January 2023

Little and Often

That's how I've been fishing recently. Lots of short sessions and doing pretty well for chub and pike. Nothing spectacular but nice fish which are for the most part in absolutely lovely condition.

One weird thing that seems to be happening is that the chub are not always in the same places and some real banker swims seem fishless. This is happening time and again and is not something I've come across before.

Me and Bully fished today in slightly milder conditions today, but it was a bit hard. He had one chub about 2lb and I managed two, one of 3lb plus and another of exactly 4lb. Chuffed with that one, it was from a "new" swim I found whilst piking, a deep bend with seven or eight feet of water and a nice snag on the far bank. I fancy it for roach too.

Forecast to get milder next week, going to pre bait a few swims and see what happens.

I'm told my other stretch, the unfished bit with no form that I really like, is now owned by a new farmer who doesn't allow fishing. Gutted. But I'm going under cover of darkness. I think you can fish it until you're asked to leave, can't you ? 

I have big chub and roach to catch.

Monday, 23 January 2023

Sunday Social

The Mighty Turdster picked me up at dawn, with Bo, the retired wildfowling dog.

A ten minute drive to the spot with the car  thermometer reading -5 deg C, yes it was a bit nippy

We walked across the frosty frozen fields, starting in a banker swim, expections high as usual.

After twenty minutes the float bobbed and tweaked and TMT wound in to the fish which  mysteriously avoided getting hooked. This happens frequently in this swim, I've a feeling some of the phantom bites are from chub.

We moved on upstream to a lovely wide bend where I found about nine foot of water and best of all it was in the sun. Bloody booooodaful.

An old boy and his wife came over for a chat, they walk the river every single day and have lots of interesting tales to tell. He's a fisherman too, so keeps his eyes peeled and regularly has useful snippets of information.

Huge flocks of geese wheeled overhead, their calls magnified in the windless valley. Lots of wildfowl too, plus an otter and a welcome lack of watercraft. The benefits of being about early.

A cast in the "deep hole" resulted in a proper run and a mint condition pike of eight or nine pounds made a short visit to the bank. Cracking fish.

A ruddy faced old fart with a lovely pike

Three swimmers ( yes, in sub zero temps ) came by and we headed home for a monstrous breakfast, a fitting end to a lovely morning.

Sunday, 22 January 2023

Toughing It Out

Blimey, it was cold. Strong northerly wind and  temperatures around freezing, but the river looked it great nick.

There are three or four fantastic looking swims in the first couple of hundred yards, huge rafts, overhanging trees, the works. Weird thing is you rarely catch from them.

There's so many places the fish can be, I can never quite decide where to fish. Tried them all today and not a touch so I moved downstream to a lovely bend, with steady water on the inside and snags on the far bank. It's a real " banker" but not a touch here.

I walked five minutes further downstream into an extremely snaggy, deep slow swim. After quite a wait, maybe ten minutes, I struck in to a fish that headed straight under the near bank cover. It's a right pain here as you can't walk out too far on the reeds as it's a vertical drop into eight foot of water.

I bullied the fish out of the reeds into the net, the good old 6lb Maxima doing it's job and it turned out to be chunky one of 3lb 8oz. Very nice.

Next swim I had a bite seconds after casting out which turned out to be another nice one.


I then tried another "new" swim at the beginning if a thin stretch lined with far bank snags. First cast, the tip went round and fish on.

Well pleased with that. Three bites in consequetive swims, all hit and all decent sized churrrrb.

I continued into dark with no further action and whilst walking back with ice crunching underfoot, I went arse over head and ended flat on my back, humiliated but unharmed.

Another enjoyable session.

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Frozen Borderline

Bloody cold but the river looked spot on, flowing steadily and with visibility of about twelve inches. 

OK, it was -4 deg last night and has been for several days but I thought I was in with a chance.

It was lovely sitting in the sun but as soon as it dipped beneath the trees it was freezing. Ice in margins too.

After the first four swims I was biteless. I was surprised, but in the fifth swim I started getting rattly, roachy bites. Off with the size 6 and on with a size 10.

Next cast I made contact with a decent fish. Monstrous roach or a chub ? Yes, chub, albeit a welcome one.

I tried four other swims but this turned out to be the only action of the session. Quite surprising, I expected a few more fish, but an enjoyable session nonetheless.

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Fining Down....

I had a look at the river today. After the relentless rain finally stopped, the river, though still high had a nice colour and there was no muck or debris in sight.

The temperatures have plummeted, but I'm not worried if the river levels and clarity are right and they will be for the rest of this week, if the forecast is correct.

I'll have an hour or so chubbing tomorrow into dark and see what happens.

I bet by the weekend it'll be spot on for a bit of piking too.

Looking forward to getting out there.


Sunday, 15 January 2023

In The Bleak Mid Winter

C'mon, everyone sing along.

Dicky invited me to a winter hotspot on the river Waverney, a river I last fished over twenty five years ago and fifty miles from Loafer HQ.

He kindly drove me there and I used the trip as an opportunity to pick his brains about fishing various rivers in the Netherlands, as he goes every year with his mates and does very well.

We arrived to be greeted by bitterly cold gale force winds and temperatures that had plummeted overnight.

No matter. I've been fishing long enough to know that things rarely go to plan and was just looking to have a good poke round, learn lots and catch a few fish.

I sat on my seat trying to tackle up, hampered by fingers so cold they wouldn't move. I eventually tackled up a simple feeder rig baited with worm and cast out to the main channel. Half dozen feeder fulls of maggots and we were ready to go.

First cast and a lovely ruffe.

I'm not being ironic, I love ruffe. Second and third casts also resulted in more ruffe. OK, that's enough.

I then somehow missed four slack line bites. After changing to a finer wire hook I connected with the next bite, a bream around 2lb.

The conditions were bleedin' 'orrible but we were getting enough action to keep us interested. Dicky had a cracking hybrid just short of 3lb which fought like a barbel. Well, almost. Lovely fish in immaculate condition.

I had a good run of bream of various sizes with the best probably 3.5-4lb, plus a few perch.

The weather then got even worse. It started to rain and the wind veered round so it was now right in our faces.

"Give it another hour ?" Said Dicky

"Yep, that'll do"

Next cast I stupidly left some weed on the line which jammed in the tip ring and a loud crack rang out as I snapped off.

"Time to go" said Dicky.

I talked to some anglers fishing in the dyke on the way back, all of which were catching lots of roach on their poles. This place is stuffed with fish.

Really enjoyable morning which would have been much better with half decent weather.

I'll definitely have some more trips when conditions improve.

Friday, 13 January 2023

A Silver Lining

Popped down the river hoping, but not expecting, it to be fishable.

Main river was out of sorts, but a couple of backwaters and feeder streams were OK. My go-to little dyke was fishless....again.

Then I tried "the trotting swim". Two little roach.

Finally the feeder stream. As I left the car park, a bloke came running up to me, "Are you a local, mate ?", followed by fishy questions. I gave my usual polite but unhelpful replies. The bloke followed me to the swim and then it became interesting.

It was @AnglingwithShaun ( take a look at his Facebook page ), he's got 13,000 followers and is on a campaign to catch a fish from every one of the UK's cities.

He was on his twelth day of a tour around East Anglia, fishing and then sleeping in his car, surrounded by tackle and bait. What a character he is.

I told him about a few spots and we walked up river to the little feeder stream, me in wellies and Shaun in trainers. Fine normally but the meadows were covered in flood water. He didn't give a feck ! 

I failed to catch anything but we continued our chat and it turned out to be a great day. He's an inspiring character with lots of great stories and if ever a bloke lived by the phrase " Carpe Diem" it's him.

So, crap fishing but a great day nethertheless.

When the river levels drop he's coming back down for a bit of chubbing. Hopefully the rain will stop soon and we can crack on with it.